Horwath renews call for full EA of Hamilton gasification plant after report warns of inadequate review

HAMILTON — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath renewed her call for a full Environmental Assessment of the proposed gasification waste-to-energy plant for Pier 15, after a report by WSP Canada warned that the project “may not have been appropriately assessed.”

“All the assumptions, all the projections, all the precautions proposed for this unproven technology were based on one tiny pilot project in England. The Pier 15 waste plant will be orders of magnitude larger than anything that currently exists.” said Horwath. “This energy-from-waste plant will have a huge unknown environmental impact, but Hamilton’s environmental protections are being determined based on little more than a science fair project.”

NDP MPP Peter Tabuns on the Liberal government’s mass school closures

Today, Peter Tabuns, NDP Education Critic and MPP for Toronto-Danforth, released the following statement:

“Parents are right to be deeply concerned about this Liberal government’s heavy-handed plan to force an unprecedented wave of school closures. In Toronto alone, the number of public schools that could be targeted for closure and sell-off is truly staggering – and thousands of families are worried about what it means for their kids. It’s wrong of the Liberals to be forcing mass school closures by cutting the education budget by half-a-billion dollars and making up new rules that curtail community consultation, especially at a time when elementary enrolment is increasing. 

NDP Stands with Striking Crown Metal Packaging Workers

QUEEN'S PARK – Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement in support of striking Crown Metal Packaging workers. 

“New Democrats stand in solidarity with the employees of Crown Metal Packaging who have been on strike for seventeen months.  Crown – a profitable American company – forced these workers on strike after demanding wage cuts as high as 42% and now says it will replace union workers even if they agree to all of Crown’s demands. This is despite the fact the workers recently won a corporate award for operating the most productive and safest Crown plant in North America.  We applaud the USW campaign that encourages Ontarians to choose ‘bottles not cans’ when making beer purchases as a way to show support for our striking brothers and sisters and Ontario’s hard working middle class.  Corporate bullying has no place at the bargaining table. These workers cannot win this fight alone and the government must take a stand and speak up for good Ontario jobs.”

Ontario New Democrats Commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Queen’s Park –  Ontario NDP Leader issued the following statement in commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“New Democrats stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day. We must never forget the crimes perpetrated against all victims of the Holocaust. And we must always celebrate the courage and the dignity of the survivors. Ontarians commemorate the victims and honour the survivors of the Holocaust by fighting anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination in all forms.”

NDP MPP Bisson’s statement on Wynne’s meeting with Elections Ontario

“I’m pleased that Elections Ontario will be interviewing Premier Wynne and her Deputy Chief of Staff about their role in an attempted bribery to give Mr. Andrew Olivier an appointment or job offer in exchange for not seeking the Liberal nomination in Sudbury.  Given the unprecedented nature of the Premier of Ontario being investigated as part of an alleged bribery scandal, it’s imperative that any reporting from Elections Ontario be made public. If charges are laid, an independent prosecutor, from outside Ontario, must be appointed so that the Liberals can’t interfere in the judicial process. Currently under section 4.0.2 of the Elections Act:   “The Chief Electoral Officer shall report to the Attorney General any apparent contraventions of this Act”.  There is precedence in Ontario for appointing independent prosecutors, such as in 2009 when former Attorney General Michael Bryant was charged with criminal negligence causing death.  It’s vital that this investigation is open, independent, and above reproach,” said NDP MPP Gilles Bisson.

Chaos grows in social assistance scandal as families face at least 10 more weeks of turmoil: Forster

WELLAND – Cindy Forster, NDP Critic for Community and Social Services, called on the Liberal government to come clean about the chaos caused by SAMS, as an internal memo predicts at least 10 more weeks of turmoil for families and caseworkers.

“The SAMS nightmare keeps getting worse for families on social assistance,” said Forster. “This Liberal government was careless to put the most vulnerable Ontarians at the mercy of unreliable software. Months later and with over $250 million dollars spent, the Liberal government still has no clue how to fix it.”

Forster said this mess has gotten worse with some clients incorrectly receiving case suspensions letters, cancelling their crucial cheques and benefits.  She also said this mess could affect recipients’ income taxes, with front-line staff reporting that the computer problems are impacting the accuracy of T5 statements. Incorrect T5 slips will jeopardize recipients’ funding for medical benefits, GST rebates and other grants and benefits.